GoodLuckSerrano – new blog

My new blog has just started, almost as an entity on its own, as I made it sound. It is not focused on Vietnam but on Eastern Asia in general. Feel free to pop in.

click on the image

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 12.50.38 PM

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an ode to Vietnam

dien bien phu street, north of the river

Almost a year has passed since I came to Saigon and more than half a year since I left. From the day I left until now, feelings have been mixed. At first I was not missing Vietnam and Saigon that much, maybe cause I was happy to be back home for a while and see my friends and family. However, month after month, I realized I was still always talking about Vietnam and I was getting more and more emotional about it. This is a clear sign of how much time there meant to me. We never realize how beautiful things are ’til we do not have them anymore, its not news. I liked Vietnam when there, and now I realize I loved it. I still do.

Something so simple like driving a motorbike or eating in some Vietnamese food restaurant in the city where I live now in France brings me back huge amounts of memories and feelings. Even sunshine, when strong, reminds me of Vietnam. The smell of hot humid air does, too. Actually, countless things do.

This is nice, you would say, and in fact it is, I do agree. The problem comes as soon as I am tired, since I get more vulnerable. Sadness about not being in Vietnam is something that I feel pretty often before sleeping.

Why did I love it so much? Beside people I met and been with, I would say that I miss Vietnam so bad cause being there not as a tourist was like a dream to me. I always dreamed to live in a far away land, at least for a while, surrounded by local people and local flavors. Being one of them. This happened in Saigon. Getting lost with my motorbike in the middle of the city. Living the city both night and day like it was mine. Stopping in a coffee shop in the outskirts of Saigon where no one knows my name and speaks english, before starting my work shift. Giving directions to tourists as if I was a local. Being greeted by some students of mine in the streets. Shopping for food in local markets. I am happy all these things happened and I am glad Vietnam and Saigon have been the scenario of this dream of mine coming true.

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the 10 things list

after a month away from Vietnam, here below is listed what i miss the most:


– driving my motorbike (piaggio zip, yellow and honda spacy, bordeaux)

– smell of humidity (you dont wanna believe it, huh?)

– lights at night (so many different colours at night in saigon)

– che (i will never be able to find it here in italy, will I?)

– being a foreigner

– ca phe sua da (there’s a post about this drink)

– pho (getting hungry already, after having written this)

– fair-priced restaurant (compared to the ones here)

– friends (both tv-series and people i met there)

– vietnamese BBQ (simply a step higher)


i probably forgot to include many little things

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tomorrow tomorrow

im leaving.. 3 intense weeks have passed since my last post, which i would have never thought to be the one before the last..

bye bye, see you soon saigon, i hope

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Breathing Vietnam In As Hard As I Can

well, roughly 3 weeks left–


3 weeks are a lot, when you travel.. they are much less when you live somewhere–thinking about leaving makes me already miss Vietnam–


and this, believe me, is kinda an awkward feeling.. i’ll miss Saigon, I’ll miss the easiness to find something to eat, to drink at any hour in any part of this city.. i’ll miss the everyday challenge to learn a bit more of the local language, struggling with tones.. i’ll miss the way this country is lively, compared to Europe.. will i miss traffic too? maybe i’ll miss that, too.. mostly, as anytime a left another country (and this is the 3rd time in ) i’ll miss the feeling of being a foreigner..

well.. let’s try to breathe vietnam in as hard as i can, as a human can.. this is not the right time to care about pollution and whatsoever..

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Stranger Than Fiction

believe it or not not far away from my table in this coffee shop there are 2 businessmen, discussing over some pages with a monk seated between them.. and the monk is kinda praying, yoga-like..

since when did religion embrace business this much?

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Nice To Meet You Phillips

this man in his 60s sat on the chair in front of me in this coffee shop from where i’m writing right now. He stayed for some 15 minutes. He left 2 minutes ago.

we got to talk. He is American, a veteran, he was here in ’65, for only 12 months. he spent most of the time here in Bac Ria, a town 2 hours away from Saigon.

you could tell how it would have ended up so easily.. mostly, why were we here in the first place, was this America?” – about the war

now I come here, for the first time since ’65 and.. god.. this place has changed much better than what we would have made out of it, they are doing a great job.. but there is a lot of propaganda still, way too much..” – about the reasons of the war and the development of the country

they had guts to fight the Japanese, the French and us, now they are tired.. they don’t wanna fight to change some other things, yet” – about Vietnamese

they called it the vietnamese riviera” – about Phan Tiet

he’ll travel around for a couple of years through Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.. to visit the countries where he fought and he will write a book about it(that is what he said)..

it will be a neutral book, I’ll tell why America was wrong, but I will tell things they did wrong too.. it’ll be a rather philosophical book.. rough philosophy, war, development and memories..” – about the book

gluck then

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